By eliminating the need for large capital investments in hardware and shifting to a pay-as-you-go cost structure, a cloud computing solution can offer businesses substantial savings. However, for many organizations, the clearest benefits of a cloud environment are more difficult to tangibly quantify, ranging from faster solution deployments to larger labor pools. One area in which companies are gaining more from the cloud is in powering a contact centre solution.
The standards traditionally used to gauge the total cost of ownership (TCO) for IT solutions are dramatically altered by a cloud environment because the cloud changes overall business processes, Data Center Knowledge contributor Ravi Rajagopal wrote in a recent column. One of the most important benefits of the cloud is something that can be difficult to assign value to, especially prior to deployment: Organizational agility. Rajagopal gave the example of a company that found that moving its call centre from an on-premise solution to the cloud allowed it to hire people based in any location with an internet connection.
“They gained access to a much larger labor pool,” he explained. “They could offer more flexible hours to employees, and even let them work from home or while traveling. And they opened up to new geographic markets they couldn’t even dream of servicing before. That’s agility.”
Assigning value to agility
Although the company in Rajagopal’s example initially found that moving to a cloud-based contact centre solution was simply a break-even proposition, it was able to justify the transition because of the intangibles. For companies looking to make similar justifications, Rajagopal recommended tracking outcomes as opposed to inputs. For instance, using customer stats such as average resolution time or employee stats such as turnover rates might help organizations identify places other than the bottom line where a more agile contact centre is benefiting them.
According to Frost & Sullivan analyst Ashwin Iyer, cloud-based call centres can offer substantial savings – as much as 50 percent cost reduction from an on-premise system. He told InformationWeek that there are three main advantages to a hosted contact centre: It reduces real estate costs by enabling employees to work from home, it builds in scalability for seasonal demand by making it easy to add new lines and it speeds up deployment in the event of a sudden wave of calls.
“It really reduces your time to market so you can go after a market opportunity before your competitors do,” Iyer told InformationWeek.
While the abilities to deploy new phone lines and let employees work from home might not factor into traditional measures of TCO, they are essential for companies looking to leverage every possible advantage. Other benefits of a cloud-hosted system can include access to unified communication tools and rapid deployments of new features, such as call scripting software. Looking at the ways a hosted contact centre can increase overall business processes is essential for maximizing ROI. To develop a custom solution that takes into account existing infrastructure and approaches, businesses can work with a managed IT services firm such as FlexITy.